The past three years have cast a spotlight on the housing sector, largely due to the tragedy that is Grenfell. With the release of the 2018 green paper and consultation periods that followed, we’ve seen suggestions of whitepapers, including a social housing paper for later this year. While it’s not clear exactly what will be included in the social housing paper, we’re expecting an emphasis on listening and engaging with customers; this may include a requirement for landlords and housing associations to provide high quality, timely responses to customer queries and complaints.
Our latest webinar in partnership with Stonewater, “Recovering ranters and recognising ravers: Using feedback to enable your CX strategy in housing”, showed the importance of real–time feedback within the housing industry, and the attributes that make up a successful fast feedback program.
Missed the webinar? Here are some key takeaways from the session that you can implement into your feedback program.
1) Business wide accountability for customer experience
A customer’s interaction within a housing association doesn’t always begin and end at the contact center. With multiple interaction points across their journey, it’s important that everyone in the business understands their role and responsibility in making a customer’s experience as frictionless as possible.
2) It’s all in the timing
With an emphasis on listening and engaging, this year’s social housing whitepaper is likely to have a large impact on the way Housing Associations and landlords approach communication with their customers. Customer surveys are often ill-timed or irrelevant to the experience the customer has had. In some cases, contact is made weeks after the interaction, and the experience is a distant memory. It’s important to receive customer feedback in the moment, in a way that is convenient for them, using a variety of channels.
- Listening posts – Allows tenants to give feedback or find out more information conveniently through an ‘always on’ channel, such as a text messaging call-to-action.
- SMS – Enables landlords to proactively ask for feedback using mobile messaging. A text message can be used after maintenance have visited customers to fix an issue to understand the quality of the service or how the visit could have been improved.
- Voice – Empowers tenants and landlords to engage in two-way communication at every stage of the customer journey; this ensures tenants their feedback has been heard and of the changes they will see as a result.
3) Make the experience personal
Show you’re putting the customer at the centre of your world and make their experience personal by acknowledging their name, the contact within the organisation they’ve spoken to – perhaps an advisor – and the details of the query they had. These are small changes that can make a big difference.
4) Be transparent
Feedback results need to be visible to staff in real-time and visually attractive. Having transparency within your frontline teams highlights areas of dissatisfaction or positive feedback from customers, and improvement areas for staff. Creating an environment of transparency invites a culture of learning, and real-time results increase the chances of a speedy recovery.
5) Don’t just take our word for it…
Stonewater has moved away from relying only on phone surveys and towards a multi-channel, real-time approach. Previously, there was a lag of up to 4-6 weeks from the moment of customer interaction and the opportunity for the customer to provide feedback on their experience. This delay prevented Stonewater from responding to negative feedback in real-time and closing the loop effectively. Now, Stonewater has a multi-channel approach to their feedback process, surveys have been reduced in length, and results are available in real-time to increase the speed of recovery.
To hear more from Sam Walker (Sector Manager, Upland Rant & Rave) and Dean Ballard (Head of Customer Insights, Stonewater), watch the webinar here.